Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Breaking down the 10 biggest Dallas-area impact players of the HS football playoffs
One of the more exciting parts of the Texas high school football playoffs is how certain players rise to the occasion on what may be the biggest stage of their young careers.
Maybe it is a clutch kicker, or a sure-handed receiver. Possibly it is a quarterback with field vision who can change a game with his size and speed, just as easily as he can with his arm.
After the bi-district round of the playoffs, SportsDayHS staffers took the time to figure out their top-10 impact guys to watch this postseason.
1. Sederian Copeland, Skyline: While sitting behind former QB DeVante Kincade (now at Ole Miss), Skyline receivers would rave that Copeland’s arm was the strongest on the team. In his lone year as a starter, Copeland has performed well – completing 65 percent of his passes for 2,056 yards and 29 touchdowns, with just one interception. He has also rushed for 10 scores.
2. Justice “Chochy” Luce, Lovejoy: The senior leads Lovejoy in receiving with 55 catches for 1,272 yards (a whopping 23.1 yards per catch) and 12 touchdowns. He has also rushed for nine scores, and last week he threw a TD pass when playing quarterback in place of two injured starters.
3. Ian Sadler, Argyle: Argyle’s utility guy has done it all this season, played quarterback, lined up as a receiver and had his fair share of carries, and whenever he is moving with the ball, points seem to follow. Out of 88 touches as a receiver or ball-carrier this season, Sadler has scored 24 of his touchdowns. He has also completed more than 55 percent of his passes when he’s acting as quarterback.
4. Desmon White, DeSoto: The fleet-footed quarterback was the catalyst for DeSoto’s 813-yard outburst Friday in a bi-district playoff win against Copperas Cove. He completed 80 percent of his passes for 394 yards and three touchdowns. He has a 33 touchdowns against 3 interceptions this season.
5. Ronald Jones, McKinney North: Jones burst onto the scene this season, going from an unknown to the area’s third-leading rusher at all classifications. Jones has rushed for 2,124 yards and 34 touchdowns. He contributed 170 yards and two scores to North’s bi-district win against Texarkana Texas.
6. Kijana Amous, Mansfield Legacy: The senior running back, who averages 6.9 yards per carry, needs 124 rushing this week to reach the 2,000 mark for the season. He has scored 30 touchdowns: 27 rushing, two receiving and one on a kickoff return.
7. DaMarkus Lodge, Cedar Hill: The junior, who has scholarship offers from powerhouses across the country, has 50 catches for 997 yards and 15 touchdowns this season. His monstrous game last week — nine receptions for 246 yards and two touchdowns — helped Cedar Hill rally from a 21-point deficit to beat Temple, 39-35.
8. Devine Ozigbo, Sachse: Sachse didn’t have a running back rush for 100 yards until Week 8, and Ozigbo has exceeded 100 yards every week since. In the last four games Ozigbo has 636 rushing yards with seven touchdowns.
9. Carlos Strickland, Skyline: The 6-4, 197-pound senior is a big target who can also draw coverages, opening up space for the other receivers. He is leading the team in receptions and receiving yards this year and has offers from big-time programs such as LSU, TCU, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.
10. Ramon Harris, Frisco Lone Star: The senior running back has helped his team to a series of firsts, including the best start in school history (5-0) and Lone Star’s first playoff win. In Lone Star’s seven wins, Harris is averaging 177.4 yards rushing and nearly two rushing TDs (1.85).
Spencer Evans, Arlington Martin: During the bi-district game against Keller Central, Evans hit a 49-yard and 56-yard field goal in a game that was decided by 5 points. In the playoffs a distance kicker can change up midfield game plans for offenses, and pay big dividends in close games.
The Defense, Mansfield Legacy: If the dominance by the line against Tyler John Tyler is any indication of how this team can handle speedy opponents, then rushing attacks will need to be reworked against Legacy. Mansfield’s schemes held TJT to 104 rushing yards in the first round.
Dedrick Scrivens, McKinney Boyd: He is the No. 3 rusher in the area in Class 5A, and he has been a big impact player for McKinney Boyd, which will face East Texas power Longview on Saturday at Wildcat-Ram Stadium.